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Dog Dental Care: Tips on Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

The most common of all diseases affecting canines is dental disease, and fortunately, it is also one of the most treatable and preventable of diseases. You maintain healthy dog dental care by providing a crunchy diet, regular chewing treats and making sure that your dog’s teeth are brushed daily to keep them in good shape.

You may have some difficulty when you first start brushing your dog’s teeth, but soon it will become a matter of a daily routine, and then your dog may even look forward to it, because of the attention you give during those sessions. Here is a guideline you can use for dog dental care.

Start Young With Dog Dental Care

It’s very important to start good dog dental care habits as soon as your pet comes into the home, ideally while it is still a puppy. At that time, most things are new to your pet, so tooth-brushing is just one more new thing your canine will have to get used to. It’s always best to get your pet started off with a healthy, clean mouth early in life, so that a pattern of good dental health can be established and maintained.

Materials Needed

You won’t need much to get the job done, but you should make sure you have the right materials when brushing your dog’s teeth. This calls for a soft bristled toothbrush and a special toothpaste which you can get from your veterinarian. It’s not advisable to use baking soda or toothpaste meant for humans, as these can cause problems for your pet.

The toothpaste that you get from your veterinarian will be specially formulated for pets, and it will usually have appealing flavors that your dog will like. Make sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush, because it’s critical to brush below the gum line, and only these kinds of toothbrushes are effective for that purpose.

A vet brushing a dog's teeth for optimal dog dental care.

For optimal dog dental care, it’s a good idea to get your pet a professional teeth cleaning at the vet’s office. Your vet will use a special toothbrush to remove plaque and tartar buildup in your dog’s mouth.

The Importance of Daily Brushing

Daily brushing of your dog’s teeth is essential, especially with using a brush that will remove plaque from below the gum line. Plaque is constantly collecting the surfaces of teeth and near the gumline. In less than two days, this plaque can become mineralized into a substance called tartar. Tartar can’t be removed by simple brushing, but can contribute to periodontal disease in your pet. Give special attention to the upper back teeth in your dog’s mouth, because historically it’s this area which is affected first and most severely by periodontal disease.

Designate a Time of Day for Brushing

Try to make the time of your teeth brushing sessions convenient for your pet, and something which minimally disrupts the daily routine. If you plan your brushing sessions right before a daily walk, or directly before you give out a special treat, your dog will associate teeth brushing with a pleasant experience and look forward to the brushing.

Getting Started

At the very beginning, it’s best to just familiarize your dog with the taste of the veterinary toothpaste, by dabbing a little on your finger and running it along the gum lines of your dog’s mouth. Then you can run your finger around the upper teeth and lower teeth to get your dog used to the sensation of pressure there.

Follow that up with the toothbrush itself, so that your dog can become familiar with the feeling of the bristles against its gums and teeth. If you encounter serious resistance from your pet, you may have to limit yourself to these familiarizing exercises for a few days, without actual brushing.

Once your pet has become sufficiently acclimated to the feeling of the brush against its teeth and gums, you should immediately begin actual brushing sessions. Your technique should be to angle the bristles of the brush slightly upward on the upper teeth (and downward on lower teeth) part of the mouth so that the brush is sure to get under the gum line.

It’s best to work from the back toward the front, moving the toothbrush in slow circles that will dislodge any plaque which has already built up. It should take under a minute to address all tooth and gum surfaces in your dog’s mouth in this manner, unless you encounter difficulty with your pet’s behavior. If this should happen, make sure that you always start with the upper back area because it’s the most important one, and it’s the one you don’t want to miss each day.

Professional Dog Dental Cleaning

Unless you know for sure that you’re doing a great job every single day brushing your dog’s teeth, it’s a good idea to seek a professional clearing periodically just to be sure. Just like with people, daily brushing should catch most problems before they can degenerate into a dental disease, but in practically all cases, a professional cleaning catches material that was missed in the daily routine. An extra level of attention is always appropriate for maintaining good dental health in your pet, and you can be confident of avoiding any dental disease.

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Puppy Grooming: When Is the Right Time to Start?

The right time to start grooming your puppy is a more important question than you might think because grooming too soon can be just as bad as starting the process too late. The ideal time to begin puppy grooming has to wait until after it has been weaned from its mother, which in most cases is in the neighborhood of eight weeks or so.

It should also be after your new puppy has become acclimated with its new surroundings in your home, and with all family members as well. A good ballpark figure for when to start is at around 12 weeks, which accounts for weaning, adjusting to its new home, and readiness for new experiences.

It’s important to remember that you shouldn’t overwhelm your puppy at that first grooming session because it will be very difficult to have your puppy stand still for an extended period of time. This will run counter to its natural instincts, which for many types of dogs includes being full of energy and enthusiasm, and not standing still for grooming.

The First Grooming Session

If nothing else, your first puppy grooming session should include a bath, and possibly blow drying, and even this is quite an accomplishment, because it calls for getting your puppy used to standing in a tub, relatively quietly. This should not take a great deal of time, so it will not put undue strain on your puppy to remain in place for too long.

If your puppy tolerates the bath and blow drying fairly well, you can add nail clipping to your grooming session. When it becomes fairly obvious that your puppy has grown used to grooming sessions, you can also attempt to do some hair trimming wherever it’s needed. Trimming fur from around the eyes is one of the places where it’s most needed, but that’s also one of the more difficult areas to get your puppy used to.

This of course, calls for considerable caution with your scissors, but once you have your puppy used to the sight, sound, and feel of scissors, you’ll be able to do whatever hair trimming is necessary. Not all puppies will take to the notion of standing quietly on a table or in a tub, so this along me take some getting used to, but it’s an essential part of the grooming process, so you have to stick with it.

A full haircut for your puppy will probably not be necessary for the first few sessions, so only fur trim should be attempted. By the time your puppy has become used to trimming, a full haircut will not be much of an extension.

A pet store professional puppy grooming.

Starting puppy grooming when your dog is just a few weeks allows them to establish good habits before they become harder to train.

Why Start Puppy Grooming Early?

It may seem that starting your puppy grooming at between 8 and 12 weeks is too early and that it might be better to do it later when it’s a little more mature and perhaps less energetic. In truth, however, it’s much more challenging to begin grooming with a puppy more than a few months old. In those first six months of its life, your puppy will have already developed particular fears and which can inhibit the process of grooming, and make it more difficult.

In many cases, puppies who have reached the age of six months or over are also much more aggressive and are much less tolerant to the kind of patience and restraint necessary throughout the grooming process. If puppies reach the age of six months without already having been exposed to bathing, brushing, blow drying, nail clipping, and haircutting, it will undoubtedly be a much more difficult process to get them used to. You can expect to spend a lot more time trying to get your puppy used to all the activities associated with proper grooming if you don’t initiate the process before the age of 12 weeks.

Puppies Grow Up Fast

Your dog begins maturing at around six months, which is another good reason why your puppy grooming should start well before that. Part of that transition involves having your puppy’s fur change over to an adult coat. It’s especially crucial during this period that you do thorough brushing and combing of your puppy’s coat, because if left unattended, it can become matted and tangled in with the emerging adult fur.

When that happens, grooming becomes much more difficult, and can be more uncomfortable for your pet. Some breeds of dogs do not naturally shed their juvenile fur, and that means it has to be vigorously brushed out during grooming sessions. If properly attended to, this will allow your pet’s adult coat to grow in naturally and smoothly, and result in a very healthy and attractive-looking coat.

By starting your puppy out with good grooming sessions at an early age, you can ensure that your pet will enjoy the experience much more, and will always look its best.

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Helping Your Overweight Cat Stay Healthy

It has been conservatively estimated that at least half the domestic cats in this country are overweight. This is a situation which real pet lovers should take seriously, rather than brushing it off. In fact, it’s very unhealthy for your cat to be overweight, and it can seriously affect its overall health, as well as the cat’s expected lifespan. Excess weight is relatively easy to identify in your cat since pouches of flesh can protrude on both sides. A healthier, slimmer cat will have a ‘straight-line’ profile down to the ground, rather than the saddle-bag look characteristic of an overweight cat.

Given the fact that your cat’s health and longevity can be severely affected by being overweight, as a pet owner, you should do what you can to help your cat lose weight so that it can enjoy better health and greater longevity.

Manage Calories and Fat Intake

The healthiest foods for cats are highly digestible, with a high meat content. Domestic cats have evolved over centuries from predators in the wild which were obligate carnivores, creatures with digestive systems adapted to extracting their nutrition from meats. Domestication has changed many of the habits of house cats, but not their natural digestive systems.

A great way to control fat intake for your cat is to feed it canned or raw foods. If your cat’s primary diet consists of dry foods, make sure that the dry foods you’re feeding it are specially formulated to promote weight loss. These kinds of dry foods will include sufficient levels of nutrition, with only small amounts of calories and fat.

In general terms, the most beneficial approach to feeding your overweight cat is similar to the ideal eating approach for humans – feed them smaller and more frequent meals. Most packaged or canned cat foods will include guidelines for how much to feed your cat each day, and in some cases, will even recommend measured portions.

This is a good idea, because these recommended portions do follow nutritional guidelines on how to maintain good health. You can go a step further by calculating the total recommended food portion to be given your cat each day, and dividing that into five or six smaller portions. This way, the total amount will be the same, but smaller portions each time will space out the meal times, and keep your cat from feeling too hungry.

An overweight cat eats wet food.

Even though cats prefer dry food, it’s high in carbohydrates. Often, wet food is a better option for helping overweight cats slim down.

Keep Your Overweight Cat Active

Studies have shown that pet owners who play with their cats frequently, and who encourage their cats to play on their own with toys, will generally have healthier pets that are less prone to being overweight. There are of course, other benefits to frequent playtime with your cat, such as bonding more with family members, but keeping it more active with increased play is one of the most beneficial for its overall well-being.
It may take you a while to find out which kind of toys your cat prefers, but start out with toys that look like prey, such as a mouse, a big insect, or a bird. Many cats also have favorite colors, and with a little experimentation, you might be able to find out if your own cat has a favorite, which you can then exploit by purchasing toys of that color.

You can also increase your cat’s interest in any particular toy by including a dab of honeysuckle or catnip on the toy, which will appeal to its sense of smell. If you want to get creative, you can build your own indoor obstacle course or fitness trail, where you create little tunnels, plank ramps, chairs, and tables for your cat to navigate. By including healthy treats along the way, you will encourage participation, and increase the likelihood of their continued interest.

Cater the Environment to the Cat

In some cases, you may need to adapt your home environment somewhat to encourage more active behavior from your cat, especially in situations where you have multiple cats at home. It’s typical in such cases for one cat to be more dominant, and to eat a larger share of the food provided. You can prevent this by feeding the larger cat on the floor, and create feeding areas more elevated for the other cats, or you can feed the less dominant cats in separate rooms entirely.

In single-cat homes, you can add to your cat’s enjoyment of the home environment by providing empty boxes or bags, paper towel tubes, or toilet paper tubes, cat trees, or scratching posts to make your cat more comfortable and more active. When a cat feels less anxiety or stress at home, it will generally be more inclined to participate in fun activities that represent good exercise and healthy activity, all of which contribute to helping your overweight cat shed pounds and enjoy better health.

 

 

 

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5 Tips on Caring for Your Pet Salamander

Salamanders can be a wonderful source of joy for owners, so it’s important to know how to care for them properly. Since keeping a salamander in your home is far from its natural environment, it stands to reason that the best way to make any pet salamander comfortable in its new surroundings is to provide as many natural features possible.

If you don’t know anyone who has a pet salamander, and you haven’t encountered them in the wild, they are charming little amphibians with slender bodies and long tails. They have no claws, which adds to their appeal as pets, and they generally have five toes behind, with four toes in front. Most salamanders fall within the range of 4 to 8 inches long, and must be provided with a water source, so they can keep their skin moist.

Although as a pet owner you might never see this in action, the salamander has the very useful ability to regenerate limbs and other body parts which have been somehow lost or removed. In order to get the most enjoyment out of your pet salamander, and to keep it healthy, make sure to take note of these five tips.

A Natural Diet

Salamanders don’t usually eat the grain meal and packaged foods you find in pet stores because that’s not what they eat in their natural habitat. They love to chomp on earthworms, woodlice, and slugs – you might be surprised to find that you can purchase these creepy crawlies at your local pet supply store. It’s best to feed your pet salamander at night since they are nocturnal creatures who become active in the twilight hours.

A pet salamander in a moist leafy habitat.

A pet salamander likes moist leafy habitats because they mimic the features of their natural habitat.

Housing Arrangements

As mentioned above, the very best housing arrangement you can establish for your pet salamander is to approximate conditions it would encounter in its natural environment. Salamanders enjoy moist habitats with many nooks and crannies where they can nestle and hide.

You don’t have to buy an elaborate setup that costs a fortune. You can make your own salamander habitat starting with a clear, easy to clean container that comes with a secure lid. The container will have to have holes which are smaller than the salamander’s body size, for ventilation and air flow.

Then you can place wood chips, potting compost, and other absorptive material on the flooring. Next, you should include a few objects like rocks or pieces of wood, which the salamander can hide behind when it wants to. When you’re selecting a place in the home to situate your salamander box, make sure that it never receives direct sunlight, because that would create uncomfortable temperature conditions for your pet. Don’t forget to include a water dish, so your pet salamander can stay well-hydrated.

Environment Control

As we mentioned before, salamanders do not like warm temperatures, and that’s why direct sunlight is such a bother to them. They prefer temperatures between 55 and 65°F, which means that your salamander housing should be stored in a cool place that doesn’t get day-long heat. This is especially important during the summertime when temperatures can soar. A salamander left at home with no air-conditioning will be in serious jeopardy. Place a small thermometer inside its container for convenient temperature monitoring. Since your pet salamander will always need to maintain skin moisture, it must be provided with standard dampness as part of its environment. If nothing else, a dish full of water should be kept in its environment at all times, and this water should be changed daily, so it’s always fresh.

Handling of Your Salamander

Many pet owners enjoy cuddling with their pets as one of the primary perks of ownership, but this is a temptation you’ll have to overcome with your pet salamander. Keep in mind that salamanders have very delicate, moist skin which will not tolerate handling to any degree. It’s best to have the understanding at the outset that you will handle your salamander as little as possible, and just enjoy observing it.

Making Sure Your Pet Salamander Stays Healthy

Whatever kind of housing you’ve set up for your pet salamander must be cleaned approximately every two months. When you do this, make sure to use nothing more than warm water and a very mild cleaning agent, such as dishwashing detergent. There are many kinds of cleaning agents and disinfectants which can be very harmful to your pet salamander (chlorine, for instance), and these must be avoided at all costs. It’s best to not get too adventurous with cleaning solutions and just stick to mild soap and water. Your pet salamander will appreciate the clean environment, especially if their home is free of harsh cleaning agents.

 

Cat Toys: Giving Your Feline Something to Play With

Cat playing with cat toys on a cat scratch stand.

Does your pet have any cat toys?

Cats are interesting house pets to have. They move to their own tune and have such quirky personalities. Often, cats can seem like they want to be left alone. While they are quiet and keep to themselves, they do need some love and attention. One of the great ways to interact with your whiskered friend is to buy cat toys.

Cat toys are a great way for you and your pet to bond. They come in all shapes and sizes. They are also designed to keep your cat’s attention as these pets are naturally attracted to these items. Finding the right ones will get them active and improve your relationship with your cat. Here are a few cat toys you should be on the lookout for.

Scratching Posts

A scratching post is an old favorite. Over the years, they have taken all sorts of shapes and sizes. What you want to look for are height and sturdiness. The tall, the better. Cats are compelled to fully stretch out and work to explore every inch of a scratching post. They will be happy climbing and trying to reach the top.

Cats also love to mess with posts to no end. Between climbing, scratching, and putting the extent of their full weight on a post, you’ll need something that can take punishment and is sturdy. Otherwise, the post will just end up toppling over every time your feline friend messes with it.

Another aspect of the post that you want to focus on is the material. With so many different types to choose from, it can be hard trying to find the right one. We suggest something that is satisfying for your pet to scratch on but lasts for a long time. You’ll also want to avoid anything that resembles carpet. It will make your pet feel like that material is okay to scratch on.

Cat Wands and Charmers

Have you ever held a piece of string in front of your cat? It’s fun to see them jump up and down as they try to grab it with their paws. Well, you’ll be glad to know that there are plenty of cat toys that provoke the same reaction and do it better.

Cat wands and charmers are simple. It’s essentially a stick or wand with a piece of fabric or toy hanging off at the end. They are far more intuitive to use than a piece of string. You hold the wand or stick in front of you and wave it at your pet. They play with it and have a great time trying to grab the fabric or toy.

What makes the wand or charmer a better option is that it minimizes your risk. Cats are a bit reckless when it comes to playtime. When you wave something tempting in front of them, they are ready to pounce. With items like a short piece of string, your cat can accidentally claw and grab onto your hands, leaving cuts and scratches. These products allow you to have fun together and keep you safe.

Catnip Stuffed Toys

Cats love nothing better than catnip. They are instantly attracted to the substance and will go anywhere it goes. You’ll often find that their personality completely changes when they are exposed to the oil. If you want to keep your pet preoccupied, buy cat toys stuffed with catnip. The ones shape like mice are the usually the best. Cats love playing with mice and a toy shaped like one will astonish them with delight.

Cat Tunnels and Tubes

While cats generally stay indoors most of the time, they do like to explore. If you pay attention, you’ll often find them in the strangest places of your house. Some cats even favor squeezing themselves into tiny boxes and spaces. Cat tunnels and tubes are a great way to facilitate that need. Some of these structures even come with a toy inside, helping your cat to make the most of toy time. When searching for options, look at the ones that best fit for your cat and your home.

Buying Cat Toys

You can buy plenty of cat toys at the Pet Shop. Just come down to our location in Allston, MA and our team will be more than happy to help you out. We guarantee that you’ll find the right deal for you – we even have cat food. Plus, your cat will look forward to all the new toys you bring them. Don’t wait, call us at (617) 787-0857 and find out what we have available.

Owning a Healthy Pet for an Everlasting Friendship

A healthy pet dog is being examined by a veterinarian.

There’s nothing better than a healthy pet!

The friendship between you and your pet is a special bond. As an owner, you have the responsibility of taking care of your pet and making sure that friendship lasts a long time. The best kind of pet is a healthy pet and that depends on you. How you manage their well-being can make a difference in their quality of life. Need help figuring out what you should be doing? Well, if you focus on any of the following then you’ll be on the right track.

Find the Right Food

If there is one thing that we as humans are constantly careful about, it’s what we eat. We agonize over every piece of food and how it effects our body. That’s because we don’t want to do more harm than good. The same should go for your pet. You should be carefully curating the type of food you are feeding them. Do some research, find out the best diets for dogs, cats, bird, lizards, etc. It all depends on the type of pet you have. You should also focus on key health points like:

  • Building the immune system
  • Maintaining proper digestion
  • Keeping bones and joints healthy and strong
  • Avoiding unhealthy foods

Don’t Overfeed Your Pets

One mistake that a lot of new pet owners make is overfeeding their pets. As eager as we are to make sure that they are eating enough, we tend to overdo it. Pets can suffer from obesity. In fact, it’s a common problem amongst pets that decreases their life expectancy. Moderate how much they eat by checking serving sizes. This will prevent conditions like heart disease and diabetes from cropping up.

Keep Their Mouth Clean

Oral health is important for anyone – pets and owners alike. A healthy pet has healthy teeth, otherwise, they will end up suffering from dental diseases that cause all sorts of problems. No one should have to see their pet struggle to eat because their teeth hurt. Also, the longer you leave the issue untreated, the worse it will become. We suggest finding inventive ways to clean your pet’s teeth like treats and toys.

Don’t Skip the Vet

While you can do everything to clean, feed, and groom your pet, you have to prepare for the unexpected. That means taking your pet to the veterinarian regularly. A professional veterinarian will be able to look for and find signs of trouble that you are certain to miss. Even more, they’ll pass on knowledge and advice to help you keep your pet in great shape. It’s important to find issue early before they become a problem you cannot handle.

Choose Healthy Pet Food and Accessories at the Pet Shop

If you need the right food or toys to help your pet stay healthy, visit us at the Pet Shop. We have plenty of food, toys, and accessories to choose from. We offer the best brands available and cater to a wide variety of pets, so we’re sure you’ll find just what you need. Don’t let your pet’s health slip by, keep them with you for a long time.

Picking a Small Pet at the Pet Shop

Veiled chameleon on a branch, which is a small pet.

What small pet will you bring home?

Pets come in all shapes and sizes, but it’s usually the little ones that grab our hearts. Most small pets are adorable and fluffy, which only add to their appeal. You’ve probably thought about stopping by the Pet Shop and grabbing a small pet of your own. Before you do, find out your options.

What Type of Small Pet Do You Want?

If you are having trouble finding the right small pet, we think we can help. At the Pet Shop, we have a whole catalog of small and wonderful animals to choose from. There are plenty of pets out there, and you should consider the ones that fit your lifestyle. We guarantee that you can find your new best friend here!

The Lovely Pets at the Pet Shop

  • Rodents – All types of cute rodents come here. That includes domestic mice and rats, gerbils, guinea pigs, and hamsters. That’s not all. We even have some of the more exotic animals. For example, we have chinchillas with the softest of fur and degus with the cutest eyes.
  • Sugar Gliders – These tiny marsupials are usually confused for rodents, and it’s hard not to see why. A fun fact is that they are more closely related to kangaroos and koala bears. The advantage of having a sugar glider is that they are smart ones. They’ll bond with you, learn new commands, and bring joy to your life.
  • Hedgehog – What’s not to love about these spiky friends. Hedgehogs are known for the spines on their back. While they are prickly, they are equally adorable and adventurous late-night creatures. You’ll even love the moments when they curl up into a ball and turn into a spiky little ball.
  • Birds – There is nothing more majestic than seeing our avian friends fly through the air. If you are fond of our feathery friends, we have a whole selection of birds. When you come down to the Pet Shop, say hello and find the right one for you.
  • Reptiles – They’re scaly, they love the sun, and they’re the coolest friend you’ll make. Reptiles are quite awesome with their colorful scales and wonderful personalities. They also have the best smiles. Our selection of herptiles will liven up your live as you try to figure them out and pet their scaly back.
  • Fish – Fish swim to their own tune and make great small pets because they are quiet, easy to take care of and keep you calm. If you want peace in your life, a fish is the way to go. You’ll also love buying their aquarium, decorating it with all types of rocks and plants.

Visit the Pet Shop

As we said, the Pet Shop is the best place to find your new friend. As a bonus, we offer new and exciting deals every single month. If you are located in the Allston area in Massachusetts, then come down and give us a visit. We are open every day. Mention our latest online order, and you’re sure to find your pet and everything you need for the right price.

Dog Toys: Getting Your Pup the Right One

Golden retriever puppy on the grass with the ball in his teeth, which is one of his dog toys.

Dog toys make a wonderful gift for your pet.

Dogs can be messy, they can be mischievous, and they sure are hairy. However, overall, they are just bundles of joy. These pets know just when to give you proper love and affection and it’s time you returned the favor. There is nothing that makes a dog wag their tail harder than a new toy to play with. Dog toys are a great gift to give your pet, and they provide the perfect opportunity for a bonding experience. Find out which toys are the best for your dog.

Dog Ball

Dogs and their love for balls. It’s a tale as old as time, and it’s still true today. A dog ball is one of the best toys you can give your pet. The look on their face as their eyes widen in the presence of a ball is almost too precious to bear. They know a game of catch is about to occur.

One of the reasons that a dog ball is an excellent toy to give to your pet is because it’s healthy for them. Your canine friend spends most of their time loafing around the house whenever you are away. Playing a game of fetch with a ball gets them running and jumping, giving your dog the exercise they need.

Bones

A dog with a bone. They’ll sit on it, hold it close, and nibble on it all day long. Dogs love the taste of a good bone and it’s almost a challenge for them to try and break it down. There are plenty you can buy for your dog, some of which come in all different types of flavors. Supplies have everything from bacon to peanut butter flavored bones.

The best bones are the ones that are healthy for your dog. A dog’s mouth is often difficult to clean, as they don’t like to have them brushed. We suggest buying dental sticks or bones. They are a great way to clean your pet’s teeth and keep them healthy. The best part is that your dog won’t know the difference between this and a regular bone.

Chew Toys and Ropes

Bones aren’t the only thing that your dog likes to chew on. You can also buy them chew toys, ropes, and other chewable items. Some dogs are even known to grow attached to a cute plush chew toy in the shape of a dinosaur or animated character. It’s downright adorable. There are even plastic chew toys in the shape a bone. Dog toys like these are just as good for their oral hygiene as regular dental bones.

Ropes are a great toy for both you and your dog, as they are a great way for the two of you to play together. Your pet will grab one end while you grab the other, and an intense game of tug and war ensues. It’s a fun bonding experience that gets the blood pumping and their tail wagging.

Buying Dog Toys

The Pet Shop caters to all kinds of animals. Come down to our shop in Allston, Massachusetts and browse for yourself. You are sure to fine the right toy for your best friend.

Making Water Fresh: Cleaning Your Fish Aquarium

Fish aquarium with colorful tropical fish and corals.

Keep your fish aquarium nice and tidy.

Freshwater fish are magnificent creatures. Just watching them swim or admiring their beautiful scales is a treat. We love these pets because they echo our own need for calm and tranquility. They are also quiet pets who like to interact often. As a pet owner, you have to do everything to please your pet fish. It’s only right, seeing as they add so much to your life. We’ve talked before about sprucing up your fish’s aquarium to make them happy. Now, let’s go through how to clean their fish aquarium to keep them healthy.

Leave Your Fish Aquarium Spotless

Fish are some of the cleanest animals on the planet. Unfortunately, they do leave waste and their living environment tends to grow an overabundance of algae. Without maintenance, your fish can grow sick from naturally occurring chemicals like ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites. They will eventually eat less, have less energy, and if worse comes to worse, die. It is recommended that you clean your fish aquarium at least once a month. If you have multiple fish, clean it out twice a month as more fish produces more waste.

Getting the Right Supplies

For this task, you’ll need the right tools, including the following:

  • Algae pad or scraper
  • Razor blade
  • Towels
  • Paper Towels
  • Aquarium-specific glass cleaner
  • Filter brush
  • Filter media
  • Water siphon
  • Bleach
  • Large Bucket (five-gallon)

Also, remember to place your fish in a temporary bowl of fresh water until you are finished cleaning.

Working the Glass

The glass walls of your aquarium are easily the most visible section. To keep yourself clean, use rubber gloves. It is also important to use an algae pad and not any old sponge. A used sponge will introduce detergent and chemicals to the environment.

Here’s what to do. Take the algae pad and lightly scrub the affected areas, removing algae that are stuck to the walls. The tougher area with hard residue will require the razor blade. This tool will scrape off any residue that is hard and stuck to the walls.

Use the Siphon Tool and Replace Water

The siphon tool cleans gravel and unwanted debris. It also helps clean the water of fish waste, excess food, and other waste. As it does its job, have your bucket ready. Make sure that the bucket is only used for your fish aquarium to avoid unwanted chemicals.

After you have taken care to the dirty water, add new fresh water to the aquarium. Remember, the water should be the same temperature that your fish is used to. Also, have water prepared. If you use tap water, it needs to sit in a bucket or container to purge on harmful metals.

Cleaning Decorations and Finishing Up

The decorations are pretty easy to clean. They too can be cleaned with an algae pad. You can also soak them in bleach for 15 minutes, and wash them off with previously used tank water. Wash it carefully though. If any bleach remains on the decorations, it could be harmful to your fish.

The last thing you need to do is change the filter. It needs to be switched with a new one every month. If you need any of these supplies, visit the Pet Shop. We have everything your fish needs.

How to Play With a Pet Chinchilla

A cute pet chinchilla in its cage.

Have some fun playing with your pet chinchilla.

At the Pet Shop, we can’t deny how easy it is to fall in love with some of our smaller animals. In fact, one tiny critter, the chinchilla, seems to draw the attention of many pet lovers. It’s their soft skin that makes these rodents irresistible. If you decide to make this adorable little one a part of your life, you are going to need to know a few things.

The first is that a pet chinchilla is a small creature, but full of energy. These animals will crave your attention. The second thing you need to remember is to approach your chinchilla with care; they are very different from other animals. When it comes to playtime, make sure they are comfortable and enjoy your bonding experience.

They Love the Night Life

By nature, chinchillas are nocturnal animals. These pets are active and move around once the evening begins. You can’t force them to play in the middle of the day as you’ll only interrupt their sleep schedule. Take time during every night to play with your pet chinchilla for about 30 minutes to an hour.

Make Sure Your Pet Chinchilla Is Safe

We cannot stress enough how important it is that you take precautions with your pet. Chinchillas can be a bit curious, which can get them into all sorts of trouble. Have their play area prepped by placing cables, wires, and electrical out of their reach. If you can’t move these items, cover them in protective tubing. You should also look for certain spots in your home where your chinchilla might hide. You’d be surprised by how many small spaces like cracks and gaps they can fit into. Cover those spots and quarantine them somewhere they cannot get lost.

Toys Make Them Happy

There are plenty of pet toys that you can buy for your chinchilla. In fact, you don’t even have to go to the pet store to find something for them. Chinchillas like playing with the same chew toys as parrots. You can also use the cardboard rolls from paper towels.

Give Them Something to Climb On

It’s important to keep track of where you chinchilla is at times. As we mentioned before, these pets tend to find themselves in small spaces. A chinchilla is also very active and playful, meaning they will climb, jump and bounce off of everything in sight if they get the chance. We suggest buying a small step ladder or doggy steps. You can let them play on the couch or stairs in your home, just carefully watch them and make sure they don’t get into space they should not be.

Play With Them

You can’t force your chinchilla to play with you. Have some patience and wait for your pet to come to you. You can encourage them to play with you by talking with them. When your little friend makes their way over to you, pet them. Over time, your chinchilla will become more and more accustomed to being around you and come to you on their own.